Indian Railways has taken an important initiative in field of innovation through participation of start-ups and other entities. Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, recently had launched an innovation policy - “StartUps for Railways” on 13thJune, 2022 in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. In line with Indian Railways initiatives towards innovative solution to acquire operational efficiency and safety, Shri Anshul Gupta, General Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway held a Press Conference at Guwahati on 15thJune, 2022.
The General Manager informed that the policy aims to bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through participation of the very large and untapped startup ecosystem. Shri Anshul Gupta said that the integration of disruptive technology into Indian Railways have taken a firm shape in form of this initiative.
The General Manager said that through this platform startups youth will get a good opportunity to connect with Railways. Out of various problem statements received from different field offices/zones of Railways, 11 problem statements like rail fracture, headway reduction etc. have been taken up initially for this program. These will be presented before the startups to find innovative solutions. General Manager urged the startups to use this opportunity and ensured them of support from Indian Railways in form of 50 percent capital grant, assured market, scale and ecosystem.
Under this programme, innovator can get a grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment. Complete process from floating of problem statement to development of prototype is online with defined time line to make it transparent and objective. Trials of prototypes will be done in Railways. Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes. Developed Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) will remain with innovator only. Assured development order will be provided to innovator.
The General Manager said that the selection will be through open, transparent and fair process which will entail innovators uploading their concepts with necessary proof on a dedicated portal can be done at the Indian Railway Innovation Portal on web address www.innovation.indianrailways.gov.in. The portal will start accepting ideas from 21st June, 2022.
Replying to various queries about restoration works in Dima Hasao, the General Manager stated that restoration in 46 out of 61 breaches have been completed and in 15 critical locations work is going on in full swing. He further stated that chances are there to resume train services upto New Haflong from Badarpur by 20thJune. The General Manager thanked Indian Air Force, Railway employees, roadways service and private bus operators in rescuing the stranded passengers and sent back to their home safely. He also briefed the media about the status of the state capital connectivity projects and the international connectivity projects under Northeast Frontier Railway. The recently sanctioned final location survey for the Chandranathpur – Silchar new line project was also discussed by the General Manager. This project will provide an alternative route to the hill section and also act as a double line for connectivity to South Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura.